Free Range Equipment | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Free Range Equipment 

Durable backpacks with an artistic touch, made in a Bend garage

SUBMITTED
  • Submitted

While attending Montana State University, Tosch Roy had a ski mountaineering race coming up and didn't have a backpack for it. He had done some sewing before, so figured he'd give making a backpack a shot.

"It was crappy, but gave me hope," Roy says. "A bunch of friends wanted one. It's more of a hobby turned business. There are a lot of packs out there, generally purposed, made in Asia, lots of bells and whistles that break. I was frustrated with the options. I wanted something clean, durable, that lasts a long time, good for specific activities. I just wanted to have one pack that's really good at what it does, so I moved into this unfulfilled niche."

For the first five years, sale of the packs by Roy's company, Free Range Equipment, trickled along. Recently, Roy started working with local artists to design the new canvas packs sold by Free Range Equipment.

"It's definitely been a game changer," Roy says. "Working with all of these artists to promote it has helped, as well. Getting to know the artists, it feels like more of a community project now."

All of the packs are made in Bend, in a shop in Roy's father's garage. A friend of Roy's does all the production sewing, while he still does the pack design, the prototyping and everything else.

"I don't really know if I could have done it in another town. It helps growing up here. There's that aspect of it, the community. It's also a good town to start an outdoor product company. The biggest take away is how big the support network is, for both a startup in general and an outdoor startup."

freerangeequipment.com


About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
2020 Made in Crook County Tour

2020 Made in Crook County Tour - Crook County Fairgrounds

Thu., Oct. 22, 2:30 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Local News

Give Guide


View Online

More by Anne Pick

  • Hip-Hop Subscription

    Hip-Hop Subscription

    Zion I delves into Patreon
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • Move Over, Mariah

    Move Over, Mariah

    Gypsy-punk rockers Diego's Umbrella shows off a softer side on "The Christmas Revels"
    • Nov 28, 2018
  • There's Still Hope

    There's Still Hope

    Ashleigh Flynn & The Riveters draw inspiration from an American icon
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation